Mar. 07, 2023

HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) today attended a joint session of the General Assembly during which Gov. Josh Shapiro presented his state budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Mackenzie issued the following statement in response to the governor’s $45.8 billion spending plan:

“The governor’s budget plan includes some positive proposals, such as increased funding for law enforcement and a focus on workforce development. I am also pleased to see there are no tax increases.

“Unfortunately, Gov. Shapiro did not focus enough on helping struggling families that are being crushed by rising inflation. In the way of tax relief, he only included only one small tax reduction and a property tax break that would only help some people. The governor also apparently plans to continue former Gov. Tom Wolf’s disastrous energy policy that would cost Pennsylvania jobs and drive-up energy prices for consumers.

“Last week, I spearheaded an effort with about a dozen of my House colleagues that listed 10 ideas that would provide real tax relief – over $2 billion in savings to struggling families, or about $400-$500 less in taxes per household per year. The Pennsylvania Families Tax Relief package would eliminate the sales tax on certain purchases for children and pets, reduce property taxes for all homeowners, eliminate state taxes on cell phone and energy bills, reduce the Personal Income Tax and Inheritance Tax, and increase tax credits for child and dependent care.

“Additionally, I am concerned about the overall amount of new spending being proposed in the budget and what it means for long-term fiscal stability and the ability to maintain balanced budgets with no tax increases down the road. Gov. Shapiro’s spending plan would deplete the anticipated budget reserve and draw down on the Rainy Day Fund at a time when the Commonwealth is facing a structural deficit and an uncertain economic future.

“Finally, as the ranking member on the House Labor and Industry Committee, I was glad to see attention paid to career and technical education and workforce development. Despite all the new spending proposed by Gov. Shapiro, these areas only received modest increases though. Hopefully we can work together to increase the funding for these areas even more as we go through budget negotiations.

“I look forward to working with my House colleagues to find common ground on a balanced and responsible spending plan to improve Pennsylvania.”

Mackenzie noted that the governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings starting Monday, March 20, to examine the details of the governor’s plan and how state departments and agencies are spending their funding. The budget deadline is June 30.

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
187th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives